Dial leads challengers in fundraising for state Senate seat
by Tim Lockette
Nov 05, 2013 | 2607 views |  0 comments | 34 34 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Gerald Dial
Gerald Dial
Tim Sprayberry
Tim Sprayberry
Darrell Turner
Darrell Turner
MONTGOMERY – The three men vying for the Alabama Senate District 13 seat brought in significant contributions in October.

Incumbent Sen. Gerald Dial, R-Lineville, leads his two opponents in fundraising for the seat, which represents a stretch of rural east Alabama from Spring Garden to Smiths Station.

The district is likely to be a major battleground of the 2014 election. Democrats have targeted the district as one of a handful of Senate seats they hope to take in next year’s election, in an attempt to blunt the GOP supermajority.

Dial reported $24,600 in donations in October, leaving him with $80,606 toward re-election. His biggest donation was a $10,000 gift from the Alabama Bankers PAC.

Dial said he got the donation after attending a luncheon in Clay County with small-town bankers. He said the bankers wanted to talk mostly about Koch Foods' expansion of poultry-farming operations in Clay and surrounding counties.

"For us, this is like industrial development," he said. "It's a big economic boost."

Dial's primary opponent, Tim Sprayberry, reported a $10,000 donation from SPEED PAC, a PAC funded by the Poarch Band of Creek Indians. He ended the month with $15,221. Sprayberry spent about $2,800 in October and more than $13,000 in September. Attempts to reach Sprayberry on Tuesday were not successful.

Darrell Turner, the only Democrat in the District 13 race, ended the month with $53,001. In past months Turner, a representative for the United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters, got his biggest donations from the union. In October, his donors were mostly individuals from out-of-state. Turner spokesman Grant Hallmark said those donors are people Turner knows through his union work.

"We had a plan to tap into these connections as the first phase of our fundraising," Hallmark said. The next phase would call on local supporters for donations, he said. Even at home, he said, union support will likely be a part of that fundraising.

"If you were to poll this district, you'd find certain aspects of the attitude here that are pro-union," he said. Residents of the district value wage protections and the ability to organize, he said.

Capitol & statewide correspondent Tim Lockette: 256-294-4193. On Twitter @TLockette_Star.

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